17th CEO Survey - Key findings in the retail and consumer goods industry

Feb 2014

Fit for the future

In PwC’s 17th Annual Global CEO Survey we set out to uncover how CEOs are searching for growth in a still-challenging environment. We surveyed 1,344 business leaders across 68 countries around the world, in the last quarter of 2013, and conducted further in-depth interviews with 34 CEOs.

CEOs are more positive about the state of the global economy than they were last year. They think three fundamental external forces will have the most impact on their businesses over the next five years: technological advances, demographic changes and global economic shifts. There will be many new opportunities for growth - and many new challenges - in three key areas: harnessing technology to create value in totally new ways; capitalising on demographic shifts to develop tomorrow’s workforce; and serving consumers in a new economic landscape.

This sector key findings report takes a closer look at responses from retail and consumer goods CEOs. It is based on 344 interviews with 145 retail CEOs and 199 consumer goods CEOs in 55 countries. We also cite more in-depth conversations with four sector CEOs including:
  • Chen Long, Chairman of China Resources Enterprise Limited
  • Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company
  • Shigetaka Komori, Chairman and CEO of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation
  • Jan Johansson, CEO of Svenska Cellulosa AB (SCA)

Key findings:
  • For retailers, technology is a game-changing trend. 80% of retail CEOs ranked "technological advances" as one of the global trends that will transform their businesses most over the next five years.
  • Consumer goods CEOs seek strategic partners in Africa far more often than other sectors.
  • 91% of retail CEOs said they were "concerned" about shifts in consumer behaviour, with 28% saying they were "extremely concerned".
  • Consumer goods CEOs and retail CEOs see the same economic policy threats: a growing tax burden, fiscal responses to debt and deficits, over-regulation and exchange rate volatility.
  • 74% of consumer goods CEOs are concerned about high, volatile raw materials prices.

Please also visit our global website to check out the Data Explorer where you can look at results by sector or by territory online. All in-depth CEO interviews are also available.